Hawke’s Bay Foundation Bolsters Charities with New Round of Cyclone Assistance

Hawke’s Bay Foundation’s Cyclone Relief Fund will today distribute its fourth round of distributions to frontline charities taking to a total of $346,000 the funding it’s now mobilised from donors.

Meeting under urgency again last week, the Foundation’s specialist Distribution Committee has moved to distribute $146,000 to nine more charities helping to assist those worst affected by the disaster.
That takes to 21 the number of charitable organisations spanning from Wairoa to Central Hawke’s Bay to receive funding so far.

The latest recipient charities include: Omāhu Marae, Waipatu Marae (Hastings), Hinemihi Marae (Wairoa), Ravidass Sikh Temple, Sri Guru Ravidas Sikh Temple, Hohepa and Hastings and Napier Women’s Refuge and EPIC Ministries. Funding will range from: reimbursement for food provisions and generators, sheltering whanau and the purchase of household items.

Registered charities to previously receive Foundation funding include: Te Roopu a Iwi Trust – an Iwi mandated Social Services agency based in Napier’s Maraenui supporting displaced families in partnership with Pukemokimoki Marae, Napier Family Services’ counselling service and volunteer organization Christian Lovelink to help with the purchasing of beds for families left with none.

Hawke’s Bay Foundation Distributions Chair Sarah Mulcahy says a further $130,000 has been ring-fenced for mental health support to be distributed in collaboration with the Rural Support Trust, over the coming weeks.

“We are linking with the Rural Support Trust and other organisations who are stepping up in their efforts to provide psychosocial support. This could be formal counselling or peer group support. We have made an initial pledge of $100,000 and two donors have come forward with a further $30,000. All to be utilised in the coming months.”

“We are making initial grants as quickly as possible ensuring due diligence to make sure the funding goes where it is intended. We have reached out to many charitable organisations, some we have funded before and others that are new to us to tell us where the need for funding is. This takes time and care and the Foundation’s Distribution Committee take their responsibility very seriously. This is a marathon not a sprint and long-term regional recovery is a key focus of this Fund.”

Ms Mulcahy says it’s been amazing to see the number of both large and small donations.

“The people and businesses of Hawke’s Bay have really got behind the cyclone relief effort, giving of their time, talents and money, supporting those in need and stepping up to help. The generosity shown in this difficult time shows just how much we treasure the relationship we have for our people, our land and our communities.”

In the hard-hit Central Hawke’s Bay coastal community of Pōrangahau, the Ngāti Kere Hapū Authority has set up a Flood Recovery Fund alongside the local Civil Defence response to help displaced residents.

Ngati Kere Hapu Authority Chair David Tipene-Leach says almost a third of the townspeople were yellow stickered and had to move.

“The $20,000 in Hawke’s Bay Foundation Cyclone Relief assistance has been the single biggest donation Ngāti Kere Hapu Authority has received and we are grateful for that generosity and to the wide range of ordinary people who have contributed.

“We have made cash payments from our Fund to those whānau who have had to move, supplying petrol vouchers for the huge number of volunteers who have been running food and supplies to Pōrangahau. We have bought supplies for cleaning, storage and building and are now stocking supplies for whānau in their new temporary homes. We are also providing koha to support our volunteers who have been working relentlessly for a month now.”

David Tipene-Leach implores the Government to be clear around how they will step in.

“Money has been announced but any pathways to accessing these funds have been very unclear. Local government have been really supportive with resource and personnel but we are a month in and we have funded this response mostly from private donations and public generosity. Pōrangahau is a gutsy little community who know each other well. We are beginning to see that the Government response will indeed kick in soon and help us to effect the long term change required.”